On September 22, Dr.Chartwell Dutiro departed to join the ancestors. We, his nine children are asking for your support to honour baba’s request to bring his body back home to Zimbabwe to be buried in kumusha in the custom of our ancestors.
Our baba, Chartwell, Mhofu ye Mukono, Bla Charts, Mukoma and finally Dr. Dutiro was a gifted musician, arranger and teacher. His mother taught him at an early age that if anyone wanted to hear mbira, he must play. Often he and his brothers would be awakened in the middle of the night to play mbira. Baba continued this discipline throughout his life. It evolved into his mission to build bridges with mbira music.
Many of you joined him in this mission beginning over thirty years ago - seeking him out for lessons in our home in Highfield. Maybe you caught up with him at Queens Hotel in Harare or while he toured the world with Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited. He taught mbira from our home in West Hampstead and also to students at SOAS. More recently you may have found him in Devon where he established a community of mbira players. There are so many cities, towns, festivals and workshops all over the world where baba has performed and given his music so generously.
The bridges baba built were made to last. A great testament to this came in his final weeks as former students, musical collaborators, family and friends joined him at a home overlooking the English Channel in Torquay. On very short notice, some came for hours while others stayed for days contributing to the fellowship of food, music and love offered back to baba for all that he had given. Though the body was weak, his spirit remained strong. United we had gathered to comfort him - and in the end, it felt like it was he who brought comfort to us.
The title of baba’s P.H.D dissertation from Bath Spa University was “The Power of the Voices of the Ancestors: The Influence of the Mbira on Collaborative Music Making” There could be no better written description of the power of the ancestors, influence of mbira and collaboration that was manifest at the gathering in Torquay. It was his thesis come to life!
Please help us continue baba’s mission of music and collaboration and return his body home.
The total sum includes: repatriation to Zimbabwe; flights for sons Shorai, Kuda, daughter Handina, and baba's partner Jori to accompany baba to Zimbabwe. Ground transfer in Zimbabwe, food, tents and other funeral expenses. Family members are gathering in the village. The economic situation in Zimbabwe at present is very challenging.
Costs of everything from firewood to petrol is escalating. We hope to reach our target before we travel so that funds can be provided in advance to family in Zimbabwe to finalise plans. In the event our target is exceeded, left over funds will be divided equally between our three siblings in Zimbabwe.
Below is a link to a song the three of us, (Shorai, Kuda and Handina) have created in honour of our baba. All proceeds of the song go towards his Repatriation.
$1.23 = £1
An anonymous donor has generously offered to match all funds raised up to $5000 (£4066)
Thank you to all of you, all donations are greatly appreciated. https://dutiros.bandcamp.com/releases